Women’s participation in drafting constitutions leads to more equitable legal frameworks and socially inclusive reforms, laying the groundwork for sustainable peace. Yet new research from Inclusive Security reveals that while 75 conflict-affected countries oversaw significant reform processes between 1995-2015, only one in five constitutional drafters in these environments have been women. As actors from Syria, Libya, and other countries marked by violence are taking steps towards building new constitutions, USIP and Inclusive Security convened a panel to draw out lessons for policymakers by discussing women’s roles in constitution-making, gender equality in constitutional provisions - including in relation to constitutions developed with an Islamic identity - and their implications for long-term, inclusive peace and security.
While there have been slow increases in the number of women involved in constitution-making processes since the end of the Cold War, women still must overcome discrimination and perceived illegitimacy once they have a seat at the negotiating table. Drawing on in-depth case studies, research, and personal experiences, panelists offered insights on how early action and alliance building have proven useful strategies for overcoming such obstacles, and recommendations for supporting and empowering women in constitution building in the future. Review the conversation on Twitter with #InclusiveConstitutions.
Director of Inclusive Societies, U.S Institute of Peace
Senior Program Officer, Religion and Inclusive Societies, U.S Institute of Peace
Director of Research & Analysis, Inclusive Security
Founder, Al Bawsala
Policy Specialist, Political Dialogues and Constitutional Processes, United Nations Development Program